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China, Tajikistan call for inclusive government in Afghanistan

The joint statement was issued during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s state visit to Tajikistan after attending a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Astana.

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China and Tajikistan on Friday expressed their support in a joint statement for establishing an inclusive government with the participation of representatives of all ethnic, religious and political groups in Afghanistan.

According to the joint statement, the two sides reaffirmed that an independent, neutral, united, inclusive and peaceful Afghanistan, which is free from terrorism, war and drugs and lives in peace and harmony with all of its neighbors, is in the common interests of the Afghan people and all countries in the region.

The joint statement was issued during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s state visit to Tajikistan after attending a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Astana.

The summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in a statement had also called for establishing an inclusive government in Afghanistan.

The Islamic Emirate, however, considers countries’ call for an inclusive government “unwarranted and futile,” reiterating that it is an internal matter.

 

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Pakistan to offer 4,500 scholarships to Afghan students

Pakistan’s Ministry of Education stated in the past it had awarded scholarships to 6,000 Afghan students as part of phase one and two.

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Pakistan has announced it will provide 4,500 scholarships to Afghan students, as part of the Allama Iqbal Scholarship for Afghan Students program.

Asid Durrani, Pakistan’s Special Representative for Afghanistan, said in a post on X that this is phase 3 of the program and that scholarships will be granted to Afghan students in natural sciences and social sciences across various universities in Pakistan.

However, Durani did not provide details regarding costs nor whether this would include female students.

Pakistan’s Ministry of Education stated in the past it had awarded scholarships to 6,000 Afghan students as part of phase one and two.

Following the suspension of education for girls in Afghanistan, several countries, including Germany, Japan, Iran, and Tajikistan, have also offered scholarships to Afghan girls.

 

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Efforts underway to standardize processing of export goods: Baradar

Baradar called on all exporters to ensure their exports meet international standards, preserving the country’s reputation, and to remain vigilant against competitors who may attempt to undermine Afghanistan’s exports.

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The Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar Akhund, says export processing zones will be established in six provinces of the country, including Kabul, and that he is trying to ensure the processing of export products meets international standards.

Marking National Export Day at an event in Kabul, Baradar emphasized the importance of trade relations between countries to meet their respective needs through exports and imports. He highlighted that countries with higher export volumes see significant growth in domestic production and accelerated economic development.

Baradar assured all export companies in Afghanistan that the Islamic Emirate’s export-oriented economic policies will elevate the country’s export levels, ensuring that all surplus production is commercially exported to other countries.

He announced that under the directive of the IEA supreme leader, export processing zones meeting international standards will be established in six provinces, including Kabul.

The land transfer and ownership processes for these zones have been completed, and they will soon be operational to standardize exports, he said.

Referring to the export process, Baradar stated that exports are currently conducted from 13 provinces to various countries around the world.

The IEA has set up offices in these provinces to facilitate and expedite the export process, significantly reducing the time required for export procedures. He mentioned that efforts are being made to find potential and alternative markets for Afghan export goods in the region and globally, with progress already achieved in negotiating preferential tariffs.

He called on all exporters to ensure their exports meet international standards, preserving the country’s reputation, and to remain vigilant against competitors who may attempt to undermine Afghanistan’s exports.

He stressed the importance of exporting finished products instead of raw materials, aligning with the Islamic Emirate’s economic policies.

Processing raw materials domestically will create opportunities for new factories to operate.

Addressing the National Export Day gathering, Baradar revealed that the IEA is negotiating with reputable international companies to standardize all national ports, aiming to enhance the quality and quantity of exports.

This initiative is expected to have a significant positive impact on the country’s export sector.

To ensure transparent and reliable exports, Baradar urged all security agencies to prevent smuggling, impose severe penalties on offenders, and protect the efforts of the IEA and traders.

Baradar also appealed to national traders to build cold storage facilities in accordance with international standards to prevent the deterioration of manufactured goods and agricultural products.

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OCHA appeals for urgent funding to ward off worsening economic crisis in Afghanistan

The organization also wrote that “300,000 children who are currently enrolled in educational classes will be denied access to primary education.”

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The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has warned that the economic crisis in Afghanistan will intensify if sufficient funding is not provided.

OCHA said vital programs such as health care, shelter, food and education are at risk due to severe funding shortages.

The UN organization published a statement on Wednesday stating that without the required funds, six million people will not have access to health services and another 4.5 million people will not have access to protective services.

OCHA has warned that if adequate funding is not received, almost five million children will face an increased risk of infectious diseases due to lack of access to clean water.

The organization also wrote that “300,000 children who are currently enrolled in educational classes will be denied access to primary education.”

Earlier, OCHA had said that after the Islamic Emirate rule, about 23.7 million people, more than half of the country’s population, including 9.2 million children, need humanitarian aid.

OCHA has requested $3 billion to provide humanitarian aid to Afghanistan.

 

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